Brian’s Situation: I’m interested in how I can find out how to develop myself as a young professional and make the most of my early career, so I can plan my career trajectory and meet my aspirations.
Brian’s Question: How do I know I’ve made the “right” decision when it comes to planning for my career’s future?
Sara’s Answer: Brian wanted to be certain he was being strategic about his early career roles in order to keep himself on track with his career goals. In school for an JD/Masters of Health Administration (MHA) program, he was pursuing a career in healthcare with his ultimate objective being a top-level position in coordinating client care.
He had accepted a position with an organization as a project manager. His role would expose him to many of the day-to-day functions in his field, and provide him the opportunity to get a base level understanding of the healthcare world. He hoped he’d be able to build off of that experience, and use it to narrow in on his desired role as he progressed in his career.
He was set to graduate in May with two higher level degrees. He had a job lined up in the field he wanted to be in, perfect for growth. And yet, he was anxious about whether or not he was making the right decision.
He worried that he should have started in a legal position instead. Would that have helped him get to long-term strategy faster? He was questioning his choices and it was creating a great deal of unrest.
If Brian’s goal is to learn the legal and operational in’s and out’s of the healthcare industry, and he chose to start with the operational, did he make the wrong choice? Or did he just make *a* choice? Choices inherently mean we no longer have access to other options. That’s why we sometimes have trouble making them. We are afraid that what we are saying “no” to is actually what we should have been saying “yes” to.
I asked him one question: Was it true that he had made the wrong decision?
He paused, and answered, “no”. I asked him what happened when he thought he made the wrong decision. He said he got anxious, stressed, and he wanted to stress-eat. I asked him what happened when he felt he made the right decision. He said he felt calmer, stronger; it even made him smile.
In his case, Brian’s brilliant legal mind was arguing itself in a circle. So we brought in another way to gather information – the body.
If the brain is housed inside your body, is it possible for the two to be totally disconnected?
Maybe one of the reasons Brian was having such a hard time was because we have no way of knowing if he made the “right” choice. Even he didn’t know what the right choice meant, other than it would be the choice that got him to his goals faster, and we wouldn’t know that for at least another ten years.
So, we enlisted the body. It felt better when he thought he had made the right choice. That’s how we know he did.
Maybe, sometimes, it really can be that simple.
Have you ever known something was right, or wrong, based on a physical feeling in your body? Let us know in the comments.
“Sara was tremendous. We were naturally a very good fit and I trusted her immediately. I felt like she very quickly picked up on where I was coming from and knew how to talk with me to allay fears, challenge assumptions, and encourage novel thinking. She was also really fun to work with so I looked forward to our sessions. I deeply appreciate her support and guidance.” – Just Get Me Pointed in the Right Direction Client
Each week the Cardy Career Coaching Team is tackling a career question from someone in our community. If you’re at a crossroads with your career and would like to pose a question, sign up for the Step-By-Step Career Change E-Course! There’s a link to a quick survey in the early emails of the course where you can leave us a question. We might just write a blog post for you!